How To NOT Advertise Your Real Estate - With Pictures And Tips
Real estate is one of the most powerful and lasting expressions of the right to propriety, and justifiably so. Owning your own bit of physical space is pretty important in a world of ever more interventionist governments, and a manifestation of your right to privacy and (of course) housing.
There are also times in which you may be able to part with a bit of your rights over your real estate propriety for a bit of money, through the magic of rent! Becoming a landlord is something many people aspire to, and a decent way to get a constant and maybe even reliable amount of money into your pocket.
Of course, before all this becomes a reality, people need to actually know you're willing to rent or sell your house or apartment, or maybe just part of it. For this, you can hire a real estate agent, a specialized professional in the art of making your combination of walls, floor and roof appealing to consumers.
This isn't always affordable, however, and so many people dabble into real estate advertising through websites, which often results in... Less then desirable outcomes.
A good way to teach people a skill is showing them examples of how something should NOT be done.
Good Impressions Count
Human beings are highly visual creatures. Our eyes are easily our most powerful sense, and our disposition towards many things depends mostly on its visual presentation, and its no different for a house or an apartment. Of course, often times, that one house you want to rent to someone hasn't been used for a good while (except maybe for some insects), so if you just take a picture of it and post it online, it may not attract as much attention as you expect, except from that ghost hunters show, mayhap.
Before even trying to advertise it, try to clean up whatever you're trying to rent or sell. Take the dust off the walls and floor, scrub it so its old natural qualities become more evident.
If it has a yard, try to clear any excess vegetation. Removing weeds can be rather easily and quickly be done by hand, depending on the size of your propriety, and thicker undesirable vegetation can be cleared with the right tools and some brow sweat.
More often than not, a new paint job can do wonders to an old house, even if its just on its external surface. Just be careful to not make a mess and make it even uglier then it was. Of course, this isn't always affordable or reasonable, so use common sense when deciding how to improve its looks.
Sometimes Repairs Are A Necessity
People don't often dream about living in a place worthy of a ghost hunting documentary, and even less often fancy the idea of living inside the real estate equivalent of a swiss cheese. If your house/apartment/room is severely damaged in a way or another, you should by all means repair it. Making sure your house is up to code and regulations is one of the first requisites you should look to meet.
This is a serious issue, as you can be legally be held accountable (in lots of places) if something bad happens to your tenants due to disrepair not caused by the tenant himself, nature or a third party. Of course, use common sense in regards to what repairs you'll make and what kind of budget you're on. Exposed brickwork and splintered wood isn't pretty to look at, but exposed live wiring is a big no no, specially if your tenant has children.
Taking Exterior Pictures
Before you start taking pictures, make sure you have a decent camera. Thankfully today most phones are equipped with high definition cameras, so this shouldn't be a problem, but an actual, professional camera is preferable, if you can get your hands on one (or on an professional photographer).
If Have a Garden, You Better Give It a Trim
After you've taken care of everything that's already been suggested in the above tips, its time to take a picture and expose your propriety to the world! The external look's pictures are always important because they affects the initial feeling your tenant will get while approaching it to make an offer, and so, you want to get your propriety's best angle on your shot.
Of course, a good picture needs decent lighting, so wait until its day. 12 am is a good time to take external pictures because that's when the sun is more or less in the middle of the sky, meaning it'll illuminate most buildings well. Of course, depending on your surroundings, this might not be the best idea ever. If your house is shadowed by another, wait for a time of the day in which the sunlight shines directly on one of its surfaces, with as little shadow as possible. If the sun is too strong, wait until it darkens a bit so the sunlight doesn't flare at your camera's lens.
Here's some quick tips for a nice exterior picture:
- Try to emphasize space, people generally react better to pictures that make the propriety look spacious;
- Remove people and pets from the picture, if possible. Its always awkward to have people in your ad's pictures;
- Remove anything that's not part of the propriety, such as children's toys, cars and trash (such as your pet's droppings);
- Try to not shoot pictures while the sun is in front of you. Try to have your back to the sun while you take the picture, so that it shines on your propriety and enhance the lighting around it;
- Make sure to show any other features that your propriety has, such as yard, a pool, etc. Also, try to crop out any street bits or bits of other houses/apartments, since they aren't a part of your propriety.
Interior Design (or redesign)
In regards to the interior, you might want to arrange the included furniture in more pleasant ways (or remove them altogether, if they aren't included). Remove any dirt and trash lying around and try to get the best angle of the room you want to capture.
If said room happens to be a bathroom, clean it well before taking a picture. The bathroom is usually one of the rooms people care most about, and a dirty bathroom will scare a lot of people away. Try to make it look as clean and uncluttered as possible.
Taking Room Pictures
Since you want to try and get most of the room in a single shot, positioning yourself in one of the room's corners is likely the best choice.
After rearranging or removing the furniture, try to highlight the room's best features while also showing most of it. Generally with an ad about real estate, you want to show as much as you can with as few pictures as possible, and this is true for both exterior and interior pictures.
Here's a few quick tips on taking nice interior pictures:
- Open the curtains, blinds or drapes. You want your future tenant to be able to see as much of the room as possible, and lighting is important. If the sunlight happens to be too strong, wait until it darkens a bit outside;
- Turn on the lights if the room haves no windows or its too dark outside for the natural light to make a difference. Generally artificial lighting is the best option since the shadows it creates won't be as intrusive on the picture;
- Highlight the room's best features, such as beautiful wood flooring, a fireplace or other such things;
- Avoid or remove any mirrors, as these will reflect yourself, and its always a bit awkward to see people in real estate ad pictures.
Signage And Local Advertisement
While not entirely relevant in these modern times of online advertising, signs are a much more direct way to indicating to the surrounding people that you're selling or renting your house, when applicable. However, proper usage must be observed, after all, its physical object that can become a problem, if not properly used.
Keep these things in mind when using a sign:
- If you live on a specially busy street, you might want to try talking to person that lives on the corner of said street and ask him or her for permission to put your sign over there. In this case, make sure the sign includes your propriety's address or other indicators of its location. Adding a phone number doesn't hurt, either;
- Some Home Owner Associations don't allow signs or only allow window signs. If you're a part of a HOA, make sure to contact them beforehand.
Another good way to advertise your house is print advertisement, that is, ads on the local newspapers can find you interested people quite fast if you're lucky, although this can cost fair bit of money depending on where you live.
Advertising online is pretty much a necessity in the world of today. It will reach all the people that your sign and the local newspaper ads can't reach, and this is usually where all the pictures you took will go to, unless you also hired a real estate agent.
Advertising online is very simple, but can be a bit finicky for people who have never done it. In regards to real estate, here's some popular websites to look into:
- eBay is quite popular these days. It does charge a nominal fee for the annoucement, of course, but its not expensive;
- Facebook and other social media websites are an option if you don't want to spend any money. There is no fee and you can reach lots of people this way. Just make a regular post including all the necessary infos and pictures;
- If you're looking for a more professional platform focused specifically on real estate, ActiveRain may be what you're looking for. Its the preferred way of advertising for many real estate agents.
Whether announcing your propriety online or locally, you want to be as descriptive as possible. If you're using newspaper, online or flyer ads, make sure to include information regarding propriety address, square footage, sales price, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, number of other rooms (games, media, library, etc) year it was built, type and size of the garage, upgrades and appliances, floor type, and features like fireplaces, courts, pools, etc.
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